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Re: Collapsing 0 width margin; CSS version system

From: Larry Israel <lisrael@cruzio.com>
Date: Sat, 8 Jan 2005 10:23:36 -0800
Message-Id: <a06200709be05cdfc0a75@[]>
To: www-style@w3.org

> Sadly, when we are talking about billions of existing pages, making
> changes that would break existing content is an idea that Web browser
> vendors really can't seriously entertain. We have enough trouble with
> people saying pages don't work right in our browsers (i.e. not working
> like in the browser with most market share) without making it worse.

That is only the case because CSS lacks a standard method of version
control (for lack of the proper term) -- the CSS equivalent of a doctype
declaration. Isn't that the case?

And of course collapsing margins is only one very small example. There are
numerous other ways in which the CSS standard could take a major leap
forward, as long as backward compatibility is not broken in the process.
With a well-considered method of version control, those major leaps could
be taken, couldn't they?

Until such versioning becomes part of the standard, knowledgable web
authors will continue to devise and use a wide variety of CSS hacks
[1][2][3][4]. Of course these hacks are a major pain in the butt, but they
are considered a necessary evil, much like table layout, spacer gifs, and
many other workarounds used to be. It would be nice to get rid of these
hacks, or at least reduce the number of them that are needed. A
well-implemented CSS version system would be a major step in that

[1] http://dithered.com/css_filters/css_only/
[2] http://centricle.com/ref/css/filters/
[3] http://www.info.com.ph/~etan/w3pantheon/style/bmhcompare.html
[4] http://www.informit.com/articles/article.asp?p=170511

Larry Israel
Fireteam Consulting
Received on Saturday, 8 January 2005 18:24:12 UTC

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